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  #21  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:11
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Re: Poor America

Me think OP is Republican
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  #22  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:18
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Re: Poor America

the root problem can principally be chased back to FDR, whose social programs were more than noble in the short-term but in the longer term engendered the development of a caste system. basically, you pay tax in the US in exchange for the comfort of knowing that brutal poverty and the worst of the violent crime is retained within well-defined geographical boundaries. and anybody who has spent any time in any major metropolitan area quickly learns what those boundaries are, as well as just how bad the poverty really is. this caste system can be masked during times of relative prosperity, e.g. the 15-20 years post-WWII and some of the Reagan and Clinton years, but it is always there.

the reason the issue is getting so much attention recently is because global economic conditions and local credit and housing crises have blurred those geographical boundaries. the line between "poor" and "upper middle class" has grown thinner at the same time that the gap between the two has grown wider. when a typical family is just one corporate restructuring effort away from becoming poor, you have a pretty serious societal problem. Bush was a horrible President without question, but blaming him is just as silly as blaming Obama, the issue predates both.

America, btw, has never been a "capitalist" regime, at least not since the 1930's. we are a mililtary-industrial complex premised on corporate and individual welfare programs, and unfortunately those programs are no longer keeping as many people stupid and happy as they used to. and just imagine, btw, what would happen if Obama actually started bringing US troops back home in significant numbers, where they would only find themselves unemployed and eating government cheese.

I wish I knew how to fix it. the reality is that no politician is ever going to be dumb enough to actually challenge the current regime, since the liberals will think them them cruel and the conservatives will think them communist. the good news, if there is any, is that I still believe the philosophical foundation on which our country was premised still has integrity and is salvageable, but it will take some guts and several years to start the process of getting there. movements like the Tea Party don't help - its rich members blame the poor for being poor (which even if true is a waste of time, since no civilized country wants people dying in its streets), and its less-wealthy members rely on hatred to blame all the people who don't look or think like them (e.g., minorities or immigrants) for why they're not wealthy enough.

I don't mean to bash my native country, btw, Lord knows America isn't the only place with similar problems, and it certainly doesn't have the worst of the problems. when your country sells itself as being something better, however, you better deliver.
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  #23  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:19
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Re: Poor America

I think it's pretty obvious that you can't blame one politician

And if this problem has always been around, we just didn't hear about it before, then be glad we're hearing about it now. These programmes always have a political slant, but it's a shame to focus on that rather than the real problem.
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Old 14.02.2012, 16:31
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Re: Poor America

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...the real problem.
Would you care to enlighten us on what that is then?

Corruption?

Last edited by puddycat; 14.02.2012 at 16:42.
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  #25  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:37
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Re: Poor America

Poverty caused by corporate capitalism and greed.
(Whatever the political slant may be)
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  #26  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:38
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Re: Poor America

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I find it darkly humorous that in next weeks show the major issue for discussion in Britain is 'Ann Robinson having a bit too much of the sherry'
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Old 14.02.2012, 16:43
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Re: Poor America

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Bush was a horrible President without question, but blaming him is just as silly as blaming Obama, the issue predates both.
I think building the war machine could be pinned on Eisenhower. I think the beginning of the end of the middle class can be pinned on Nixon. What Reagan did.... good lord. I still to this day cannot comprehend how that man managed to get so much stuff named after him, or why the Republicn Party considers him to be a hero.
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Old 14.02.2012, 16:50
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Re: Poor America

There is not much of a social net when the economy goes bust.

I don't really think you can blame one politician on the state
of the whole country.

Bush certainly didn't leave a beautiful rose garden for Obama
behind.
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  #29  
Old 14.02.2012, 16:52
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Re: Poor America

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Poverty caused by corporate capitalism and greed.
(Whatever the political slant may be)
corporate welfare is hardly the same as capitalism, just as Las Vegas is hardly the "capital of capitalism". btw, the BBC piece doesn't even highlight 1% of the worst of the real poverty. hell, I had to mop the floors and clean the toilets in my house as a child, had a job from the time I was 12, and my mother cut my hair until I was 16 years old (which might explain why I was a late-bloomer to the dating game). those people in the BBC piece may be suffering, but that ain't poverty as we know it in the States. spend 15 minutes on the east side of Detroit, south side of Chicago, or in Jamaica Queens, NYC, where the poverty not only would make any third world dictator blush, it is systematic and several decades old. oh, and if I were a non-citizen of the US watching the BBC piece, I might get the impression that poverty is almost entirely a white problem.

the reality is that poverty is caused by a number of different things, some of which are controllable by a civilized society and some of which are not. blaming any one of those things without focusing on the others is neither effective nor productive.
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  #30  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:07
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Re: Poor America

Thirty years of progressive policies after WWII (progressive taxation, banking regulation, labor legislation, investments in education, infrastructure, health care, R&D, etc. ) gave us a strong middle class and a booming economy. Now thirty years of a conservative agenda since 1980 (trickle-down economics, deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, outsourcing, weakened labor movement) has left us with a shrinking middle class and put our nation in decline, all of which escalated under Bush II, bringing us to the market meltdown in 2008.

Exacerbating all of this is that the modern GOP fundamentally will NOT accept the legitimacy of ANY Democratic president! We saw what happened under Bill Clinton (scandalizing him, Republican witchhunts and working feverishly to unseat him) and we've seen it again as soon as Mr. Obama took office (endless demonizing of him and his family, wishing failure on him and his presidency, calling him a Muslim and so on). And yet, BOTH of these Democratic presidents have governed more like moderates rather than the "flaming Leftie liberals' the right has made them out to be. One wonders how the modern GOP would view the likes of Nixon and Ford today! Even Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, has said that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative.

So, as a result, the Republicans are automatically against anything the president wants, even if they have supported similar proposals in the past (e.g., Mitt Romney’s health care plan, the debt deals, Clinton's anti-terrorism measures, etc.). Basically, they are against anything that would benefit the average American or the greater good.

The bottom line is: whatever the fiscal and monetary experts might say makes no difference. The Republicans DO NOT WANT the economy to improve. Their strategy is to purposefully obstruct any possible improvement so they can reach their single goal of bringing Obama down. They do not care if the average American suffers and the U.S. economy crashes along with them. As long as they would achieve their political goal, they would be happy. THIS is their clear political agenda to defeat the President. The people funding this effort (Koch Brothers, et al.) have enough money to weather the tide, as the gap grows and corporations hoard cash and fund the politics of personal destruction. And when you have enough money to influence public opinion, lies easily become truth.
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  #31  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:31
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Re: Poor America

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Many people with huge fortunes 'withdrew' the money when Obama was elected. I actually have relatives in that category, who would rather scupper the country than Obama succeed in any of his social plans
This isn't uncommon and has effectively become the GOP's strategy in the US. A very intriguing (though long) recent editorial from someone who left the party:

http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all...ult/1314907779

The Democrats are no prize, but what the GOP is currently engaging in is so cynical that it's hard to not pass for a flippant partisan if you point it out. It seems cartoonishly evil and impossible. But what this ex-GOP insider is saying is that people's worst suspicions are true - they really want things to get worse. They want for Obama's plans to fail and they want for people to suffer, what better way to sell their "government doesn't work" philosophy. For people in other Western countries looking in, it's borderline criminal for people in government to actively work to undermine governance itself and act in such bad faith.

I'm not sure if their scorched Earth policy is working, what's scarier is that they may not care anymore. The Republican-majority Congress's approval rating has been under 20% for the last year, but it doesn't phase them and seems to be a sacrifice they're willing to make as long as Obama is caught in the crossfire. It's yet to be seen if this kamikaze strategy pays off come this year's elections. My only hope is that it backfires on them somehow. And with thing like the anti-establishment (and consequently anti-Obama) Occupy Movement, they're faced with something they can't use even in a "enemy of my enemy is my friend" fashion, because now people's anger has turned towards the rich, a group they can't touch for obvious reasons.

Last edited by Russkov; 14.02.2012 at 17:44.
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  #32  
Old 14.02.2012, 17:55
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Re: Poor America

The newest problem is lack of decent paying jobs for "non-skilled" individuals. Such jobs in the past were often in manufacturing, but that is now done elsewhere (great for improve China's economy but not so good for the American poor), so now these people do service jobs (Walmart) which frankly doesn't pay as well.

This is a different problem than the one in urban ghettos which could be described as more of a social problem than an economic problem. More jobs is not necessarily going to solve/fix the problem there.
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:05
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Re: Poor America

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Agreed.

But don't non-residents still pay US tax? Or have you fully expatriated, citizenship et al?

Unlikely on a teacher's salary that one would owe US tax.
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:07
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Re: Poor America

The only way out of this mess ,would be a multi party government.Me think
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:09
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Re: Poor America

Like in Britain??
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  #36  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:13
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Re: Poor America

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There is not much of a social net when the economy goes bust.

I don't really think you can blame one politician on the state
of the whole country.

Bush certainly didn't leave a beautiful rose garden for Obama
behind.
Quite. This is the problem.
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  #37  
Old 14.02.2012, 18:14
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Re: Poor America

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Unlikely on a teacher's salary that one would owe US tax.
Just wait until the dollar sinks to CHF 0.50 or less!

Tom
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:37
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Re: Poor America

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Just wait until the dollar sinks to CHF 0.50 or less!

Tom
various US governments were in the DEvaluation game in order to help the export industry. Looks as if the success was rather limited.
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:46
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Re: Poor America

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various US governments were in the DEvaluation game in order to help the export industry. Looks as if the success was rather limited.
various US regimes have also been in the "forcing democracy down other peoples' throats" game in order to help the export industry, with similar results.

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Old 14.02.2012, 18:49
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Re: Poor America

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Well now that I can see the video and see that it involves THE (god forsaken) HERITAGE FOUNDATION... no wonder there was a slant against Obama.

They're the world-reknowned conservative demonology necromancer college for myopic and small-minded minions everywhere.

In all seriousness though... now that I can see the video, I don't see as much of a slant against Obama, so much as I see a "this is the ugly underbelly of America today". A snapshot. And the sad truth is, a lot of the people depicted here would sooner vote Republican before they'd vote for a Democrat... if they'd even vote at all.
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